The afternoon started with a few UC students and staff protesting outside of the UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco.
'Education, not deportation!" they chanted. "Undocumented, unafraid! Undocumented, unafraid!"
They were concerned Napolitano’s experience running the Homeland Security Department would lead to the deportation of undocumented students.
The intensity of the protests grew once the confirmation hearing began. Student chants became louder and more frequent as the meeting went on. Eventually the meeting was stopped, the room was cleared and the students were warned to leave or get arrested. Four students locked arms and continued to chant as the police formed a circle around them and the media looked on.
The four students were eventually handcuffed and led out of the room. A short time later the meeting resumed and Napolitano was confirmed.
In a post-meeting press conference she stressed she would be an advocate for undocumented students, not a threat to them. She also answered criticism that she lacks experience in the academic world. She acknowledged she’s an nontraditional choice but says she’ll bring a lot to the job.
“But as someone who has a long history of managing big, complex institutions and as someone who is really passionate about higher education,” she said.
Napolitano will earn a base salary of $570,000. She will begin at the end of September.